My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges, 2008
I really really like their first three albums. I was a bit disappointed by the last one. And for the most part, this one really sucks. There are a couple of okay songs and I respect that they are trying different sounds. But did they have to do it in a such a crap way? You know an album is in trouble when the highly dubious "Highly Suspicious" might not even be the worst song on the album. That Red Light/Green Light song might be even worse. The melodies on this album are borderline easy listening meets white boy funk. The lyrics are like the ones Jeff Tweedy leaves in the trash can on his worst days. Boo.
Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala, 2007
The last time I wrote about sweet little Jens Lekman, I wrote, "Lekman seems like maybe he'll be a good songwriter someday but right now he kind of bugs me. This is a comp of some of his early stuff so maybe he's gotten better?"
I'm happy to say that yes he has. I really like this album. It still isn't perfect but the highs are higher and the lows not nearly as low. I'd imagine his next album will be even better. He isn't trying so hard to wear his influences on his sleeve or to write overly clever lyrics. He simply is concentrating on pretty melodies and a wistful tone in his lyrics. I like it.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago, 2007
A pleasant little diversion. I was really into this a couple of months ago. Then I didn't listen to it for awhile. Upon a re-listen, I didn't like it as much. Or maybe I was just really sad after having just come home from a miserable Mets defeat. Either that or I've been so into the latest Jose Gonzalez that that LP has eclipsed this one?
Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature, 2007
For some reason, I didn't get into his first album. I probably didn't give it enough of a chance. Last Friday Night Lights season though, I was won over by all of the Jose Gonzalez posters in Julie's room. Erik was kind of enough to take me to see him play at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple a couple of months ago. It was the perfect venue. I was astounded by the beauty of the songs. Everyone was transfixed. It was a great show. Color me convinced.
The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely, 2008
The first song keeps repeating the line "I'm bored to tears, yeah. I'm bored to tears." That about cuts it.
Cat Power - Jukebox, 2008
The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride, 2008
Unlike Iron & Wine who I like sparse and with a full band, I think I prefer the Mt. Goats more pared down than with a full band. I don't know - there are a few very good songs on this album but there are also some forgettable ones.
Darnielle sings in his wispy voice a bit too much for my tastes on this one. Maybe the full band stuff makes him feel wimpier and when it was just him and a guitar he felt bold. I don't know. This is probably my least favorite of his albums in a few years. At least his last three had themes. Gimmicky, yeah but more effective than this collection of songs.
Lyrically, he still spins gold though.
Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams, 2008
If there was any doubt that I'm more into Destroyer these days than the New Pornos, this album seals the deal. While not as transcendent as the last Destroyer album (2006's Destroyer's Rubies) this album still is really really good. I still can't believe how into Mr. Bejar I've gotten considering that I considered his songs the weak links on that first New Pornos album back in the day. Now I'm in love with the guy.
9 hours ago